Challenge the Fabric (CTF) is a cross industry collaboration initiated by Ekman Group in 2018 and organized by the Swedish Fashion Council. Together with partners in the forest, textile and fashion industry we want to connect the supply chain of man-made cellulosic fibres (MMCF).

Through connecting the different players involved in the supply chain of forest-based textiles from pulp to fabric, we have the possibility to improve and enhance the perception of the MMCF textiles and strengthen the efforts to create a traceable and sustainable production. The CTF initiative aims to enable the textile industry to fully discover the potential of the man-made cellulosic fibre portfolio and to facilitate the market growth of sustainable cellulosic fibres.


The first edition of CTF

For the first Challenge the Fabric Award, ten nominated designers were challenged to create looks made from MMCF fabric, with the final awards ceremony being held on September 13, 2018, at London Fashion Week. Six finalists presented their collections at the CTF Award Show and represented some of the most prestigious and best ranked design schools around the world.

An international jury of fashion professionals named the winner of the CTF Award, who received a financial contribution of €30,000. The prominent jurors were Heikki Salonen, Vyner articles; Tiffany Godoy, TH_RLTY_SHOW; Lindsey Schuyler & Tony Liu, Diet Prada; Zak Arogundade, Musician & Designer; Jo Barker, EIC Re-edition Mag; Ann-Sofie Back, Fashion Designer; Penny Martin, EIC The Gentlewoman.

The CTF Award Show 2018

The finalists were Harry Freegard of London’s Central St Martins, Brandon Wen of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Christine-Marie Valtonen of Helsinki’s Aalto University, Anna Bernal of Arnhem’s ArtEZ, Elena Velez of New York’s Parsons School and Paolo Carzana of London’s University of Westminster.

A complementary exhibition was presented by Zhenyuan Yang, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, Yiyuan Sun of Shanghai’s Donghua University and Kajsa Willumsen, The Swedish School of Textiles, Borås.

For its second edition, CTF 2022 presented a mingle and symposium on May 16th and 17th with two days of interesting discussions and insights from key industry players from the forest, textile, and fashion industries.

The second edition of CTF

The Challenge the Fabric mingle and symposium increased the companies possibility to connect, network and listen to the invited speakers and gain knowledge. The second edition of CTF also strengthened the initiative's position on the global market featuring participants from LVMH, Chanel, Polestar, IKEA, OTB Group, Lenzing, Spinnova and many more of the different industry’s most important players.

At the Challenge the Fabric symposium in Paris on May 17 at Institut Suédois, the initiative identified barriers to growth and possibilities for collective actions within fashion, textile and forest industries.

The prominent panelists included Sara Mariani, Chief Sustainability Officer at OTB Group, Christine Goulay, Global Director at Pangaia Science, Dio Kurazawa, Co-Founder of the Bear Scouts, Shahriare Mahmood, Chief Sustainability Officer at Spinnova, Romain Brabo, Co-Founder of LVMH Nona Source, Komal Singh, Senior Color and Material Designer at Polestar, Shameek Ghosh, CEO and Co-Founder of TrusTrace, Johannes Bogren, Vice President at Södra Cell Bioproducts, Caroline Ledl, Head of Product Management at Lenzing,  Dr. Marina Crnoja-Cosic, Director New Business Development at Kelheim Fibres GmbH and more. 


The third edition of CTF took place from the 9th until the 10th of May 2023, at Fondazione Cariplo in Milan. 

With a focus on sustainability, traceability, and material innovation CTF 2023 took place as a full-day symposium with inspiring keynotes and panel discussions focusing on themes such as sustainable forestry; legislation, policies and traceability; the future of fashion and next generation solutions; and the industry's path forward.


New for this edition was an exhibition space, highlighting game-changing material innovations from sustain-tech companies, providing valuable insights and access to the most innovative solutions within the fashion and textile supply chain.

CTF 2023 saw keynote speeches and panel talks from industry leaders and stakeholders from the forest, fashion and textile industries including Vogue Business, Diesel, Spinnova, Re:newcell, Global Fashion Agenda, IKEA of Sweden, Pangaia and many more.